South Australia has plenty of energy providers to choose from, which means lower prices for you.
The energy market in South Australia has been deregulated since 2002, which means the government does not set prices, and residents have options when it comes to choosing a provider. With the necessary knowledge and a little research, you can shop around and potentially find a better deal.
Search and compare energy providers in South Australia
How can I switch energy providers?
Switching energy providers is easy. All you need to do is find a new provider, then contact them to organise the changeover.
The hard part is comparing providers and plans to find one that suits you and hopefully saves you money. Always think about your specific needs and circumstances when you are choosing a plan. Make sure you consider the following:
- Contract terms and length. Always check your contract carefully. Some providers will automatically roll over an existing contract, which is convenient. However, check whether the associated fees will increase. The length of a contract is an important consideration if you're renting, or only living in a place for a limited time.
- Tariffs. Look at the tariffs charged by various providers. In an open energy market providers can and do raise tariffs.
- Cooling-off periods. Most providers include a cooling-off period in their contracts, and it is often a legal requirement. During the cooling-off period, which is usually 10 days, you can generally cancel a contract without any problem.
- Early termination fees. Some energy providers charge a fee when you terminate a contract before the end period. Fees generally range from $40 to $100 and must be specified in the agreement. Check before switching and factor the cost into your calculations.
Will South Australia's electricity prices rise this year?
Electricity prices in South Australia look set to rise, partly because of the closure of the Hazelwood power station. Bills may rise by 7.2% in 2017/18, followed by a slight decrease in 2018/19. These prices could be affected by government decisions regarding energy investment, and a possible increase in the use of wind power.
What energy plans and deals can I get?
A free energy market means more choices for consumers. To get your energy dollars many providers will offer discounts, special offers or unique plans to suit your energy needs. Here's what you should look out for:
- Discounts. It can be worth switching providers just to get a discount, but not all discounts are the same. Discounts for paying on time are great if you're not worried about being short of money each quarter. Discounts for long-term contracts can save you a lot of money but aren't much help if you're renting.
- Bundling. If a provider sells electricity and gas, check if there's an extra discount if you switch both.
- Choice of plan. Many businesses sell multiple plans; some even let you buy energy at different rates or in advance, locking in cheaper prices. If you find a deal for a usage pattern similar to your own, you can probably save some money.
- Payment flexibility. Some companies offer great flexibility in payment options. If you're worried about paying bills on time, flexible options can really help. Some providers let you purchase energy in advance, which limits the chance of getting a bill higher than you were expecting, and helps you control your spending.
- Energy tools. Many providers offer a variety of apps and online tools that let consumers measure their energy consumption. Knowing more about your energy usage patterns can help you make better energy decisions in the future.
Many households in South Australia have an advanced digital meter, or smart meter, installed. They measure how much electricity you use and when you use it, which allows the provider to calculate your usage patterns more accurately. This means they can charge you based on peak and off-peak usage, and advise you of your exact monthly costs rather than relying on estimates. Smart meters send information to the provider automatically, so there's no need for someone to come and manually check your meter.